I decided to write a quick guide today to help you keep up with your favourite blog (ours of course!!). I wanted to help any readers who may not have followed a blog before our life changing year adventure commenced!
Those readers who check back each day desperately hoping we’ve posted. Those who jump for joy when they find a new tasty morsel or mope about depressed for the rest of the day when the canvas is blank……I know some of you do this…this is how I used to follow my favourites too!!
It occurred to me that lots of people have been encouraged by us to read our website or follow us on facebook. Others keep up with our posts through RSS feed or on Twitter. Still others have signed up to receive our eBook (and receive imaginery updates that so far have not appeared!!)
I realised I’ve never actually explained to anyone how to do any of the above!! If you’re a seasoned tech head and don’t need any tips on this one you can stop reading right now and use your time to revisit the time I suggested Barack Obama should move Las Vegas for me!!
For everyone else here’s my very basic tips on following our adventures and any others you come across too!
Obviously the first choice is to follow us directly on this site and here’s how you do that:
USE THE RSS FEED
You can very simply open a google reader account and follow as many blogs as you like. Just go to google.com and open an account (free for everyone – you just need an email address and it doesn’t have to be a google email), then go to our site and click on the RSS Feed symbol. It looks like the symbol that is the picture at the top of this post. On every blog that has an RSS feed it will look the same or similar to the above so it will be easy for you to find. It is nearly always orange – again, easy to find! You should be taken to a web page that asks you to choose which reader you are going to use. On the right hand side amongst all the boxes click on the google reader box. You should be sent to a page that tells you that you have subscribed to the feed. (If for some reason you aren’t taken to the pages mentioned above, you can also go into google reader and add the subscriptions just by typing in the website name. Occasionally I have to do this with mine.) Don’t panic if you see any other options besides the above – it seems lots work in a slightly different way! Just read the instructions and you’ll be fine. Failing all else add it to your feeder manually.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and personally I think this is the most amazing tool ever invented!! Once you have subscribed the reader will capture every post as it is published. So if you only check your reader every so often you will see any posts publised since the last time you checked. This will save you a pile of time flicking through the site to see what is new. For me I can relax knowing I won’t miss anything juicy!!
If you have an iphone, ipad, ipod touch or one of the many other smartphones on the market you can download an RSS Feeder app and use it to get new updates in exactly the same way.
I use FeedlerPro for both my iPad and iPhone but you can do a search of the App store and find one that suits you. I trialed a version free before I paid for the full version. I like things with lots of options which is why I chose this one. I can ask it to show me just the unread feeds (which means once I read them they disappear from the list – I love this feature!) I can also mark a post as a favourite if I want to come back and read it again later without going to the website. The FeedlerPro App puts a little number on the icon which tells me how many posts are waiting to be read – I like this too!!
I have my sites organised into folders – so there’s a news feed, a travel feed, a business feed and a self-improvement feed (I’m a sucker for that stuff!). The folders mean I can just check the news and not be tempted to peek at my favourite travel blogs if time is short!! And I can click straight through to the website if I am are so inclined without closing the App and logging into my browser. Love it, love it, love it!!
The steps are the same to use an App – set up your google reader account, subscribe to the RSS feeds using google, set up your app to read from your google reader account and voila – every time you open the app you will have awesome new stuff to read!!
And you can read lots of these feeds without an internet connection – great if you are using an ipod touch or reading in an aeroplane!
There are many other options besides google reader for the RSS feed. You can subscribe through your own email software and even in your browser software. I’ve just given you a run down of how I do it. And remember, not every site has an RSS feed or some may be just plain broken and have to be manually added to your reader.
LIKE LIFECHANGINGYEAR ON FACEBOOK
The next way to follow us is on facebook. You can see on the right hand side of our home page there is a like button for facebook (and the pics of any of your friends who may like our page already – isn’t that clever/creepy?)
Simply click on the like button and you will receive any facebook status updates onto your facebook wall. Every time we publish a new post we also pop it on our facebook page. If this is your preferred option, be sure to check the page occasionally if you don’t keep up with your facebook feed each day. I have been known to post after midnight and you wouldn’t want to miss THOSE gems!!
You can do the same for any other blogs you would like to follow – often other things are posted on facebook than are posted on the actual websites. I know we post lots of random iphone photos on our page of funny or interesting stuff that we have seen. These rarely make it to our website as it takes more effort than I’m prepared to make while on a year long trip!!
FOLLOW LIFECHANGINGYR ON TWITTER
I can’t say I know a lot about twitter. I had never used it until I completed the Website Launchpad Course. But I kind of like it – and I’ve met a pile of super cool families who are travelling the world so for that I will be an eternal fan!!
DISCLAIMER: Beware of Twitter. It can be a huge time-suck! There’s so much GOOD stuff on there, especially if you are only following people you are truly interested in. I’ve been known to spend HOURS reading posts!! You were warned!! lol
To follow us on Twitter you’ll need a Twitter account. It’s super easy to get one. Just go to Twitter.com and follow the prompts to open an account. Write a little blurb about yourself and add a pic if you feel like it. Otherwise your pic will be an egg!!
Once you’re joined up search for lifechangingyr (note the slightly different spelling!!) and click on “follow”. It’s as easy as that!! Every time we post on facebook the post automatically goes to twitter – so you’ll see everything there. You can follow celebrities, news outlets or basically anyone who tweets about subjects you are interested in. If you end up following a few, your feed can get quite clogged and this can make it hard for you to keep up with all the posts. I suggest making some lists if this happens and putting lifechangingyr in one of them. That way you can quickly catch up with us. You can send us messages on Twitter too – we mostly will reply within a few hours if we have internet. I check Twitter most nights after we get home from our daily adventures. (Or all day if I’m lying around the pool!!)
So those are the ways that you can follow our posts. And here are the ways that you can interract with us while we are away….
Feel free to share any of our posts on facebook. I know some people are already doing this (and I had no idea that my mum even knew how!!) and we really appreciate it! You can retweet any of our posts (once you work Twitter out of course!!)
SUBSCRIBE AND RECEIVE OUR EBOOK
On the top right hand side of our home page there is a box where you can subscribe and then download a copy of our eBook on how we came up with the money for our trip.
Next month we will be starting a monthly newsletter that will only go to this subscriber list with links to the month’s posts and maybe some funny stuff that I’ve been reading on other people’s travel sites (Using my trusty FeedlerPro RSS reader of course!!) It will probably also include a short roundup of what we have done during the month as not everything becomes a post! So if you don’t want to miss out on those goodies – get yourself there straight after reading this post and SIGN UP! I won’t be sending my regular posts to this list so you shouldn’t double up on our stuff!!
But most importantly we would love you to leave us a comment or 20!! We know that we average over 60 people a day visiting this site. But we don’t know who you all are!! You can leave us a comment at any time on a current or old post – we answer every single comment so you’ll know we’ve read it (cause we love a chat basically!!) When you comment, just leave your email address and you’ll get a notification when we reply. You don’t need to have a website – just leave that field blank. It’ll almost be like a real conversaton…almost!!
Phew – that turned into a long list!! If any tech heads are still with me, feel free to leave comments below if you think I’ve missed anything vital above. This post was definitely aimed at newbies so any suggestions would be appreciated (and I’ll learn something too!)
For the newbies still amongst us I want to share just one more thing. Do any of you have an urge to have your own website? Do you know an awful lot about beads? Or dogs? Or how to roast pumpkin seeds JUST RIGHT? Or how to bake/decorate or sell birthday cakes? Or any number of other subject?
You guys can easily have your own website too!! I did not know one single thing about websites when I started but now I can easily keep you all updated with our travels and it’s really fun!! You can set up your own website for less than $50 and get sharing with the world.
One of the things you will need will be a Web Hosting Service. I use Hostgator and they have been so helpful! I used to use someone else and when it came time to change I had NO IDEA what to do. But Hostgator handled it all for me!! Set up my domains (our family actually has a few websites now so there were multiples) and fixed a setup problem that I had created!! For under $10 per month we currently have 5 websites and we can have an unlimited number for this same amount!! Sorry for blabbing on but I know a few people who might like to have their own site so couldn’t resist tacking this onto the end. I’m really comfortable recommending them to newbies as they were so very helpful with me!!
I plan to put up a separate page when I get some time so that you can benefit from any services that I have found to be amazing but I’m not there yet. If you can’t wait you can click on this link to Hostgator to check out their current offers.
Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like some pointers on how to get your own site started – I know only the basics but would be happy to give you the steps to get started and can point you in the right direction of people who know the rest!!
I’ve exhausted my tips or newbies and now you have all the info!
We will be returning to our usual programming tomorrow!!
Parts of the above post may contain some Affiliate links. This means if you purchase something through the link I will receive a small commission. I only recommend companies that I have used myself and love and also feel comfortable recommending. As always I promise to spend any commissions on trashy souvenirs and glitter!!
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